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Taj Express at The Peacock Theatre | Review

Taj Express at The Peacock Theatre
Taj Express at The Peacock Theatre

Taj Express at The Peacock Theatre until 20 October is enormous fun, an evening to lift the spirits and send you dancing out of the door at its end. Literally.

Directed by Shruti Merchant the twenty-four strong cast of dancers and musicians create a whirlwind of colour as they perform joyous tracks from various Bollywood films including Slumdog Millionaire. You don’t need to be a Bollywood aficionado to enjoy this show. There’s clever humour too. Chandon Raina is very funny as well as playing marvellous guitar. Avadooth Phadke is a lovely flutist while Prathamesh Kandalkar is charming on percussion. The soundtrack put together by the music director, Abhijit Vaghani, is part pre-recorded and part live. The dancers contribute at times and at others mime. It works.

The vitality of the male dancers on stage is compelling and they know it. Rarely do performers look as if they’re enjoying themselves as much as this charming ensemble and that is infectious. Vidyuth Gargi in the role of a Bollywood composer is a great foil to the extravagance of everything else that is going on. Hiten Shah, in the role of hero is charismatic. Even the villain, Koran Waghchawre, becomes likeable in this show.

Tanvi Patil as Kareena is a lovely dancer, one of the love duets between her and Hiten Shah becomes spine-tingling in its beauty. All the ensemble dancers move with incredible speed and agility.

Special note must go to the costume designer, Bipin Tanna. He has channeled Bollywood in the extravagance of the costumes, there is colour, and glitter and gold galore. There are also finer details to admire, such as the sleeves of the dresses in one of the many costume changes, making flowing shapes in the air. The men are sometimes bare-chested in this rather sexy show but the women are always respectfully and attractively dressed. This is nice.

It’s a great night out, there’s not much narrative but even serious types should enjoy the spirit, dextrous dancing and sheer likability of the very attractive Taj Express.

4 stars

Review by Marian Kennedy

Vaibhavi and Shruti Merchant’s glitzy Bollywood extravaganza is set to dazzle audiences once more following its sparkling summer run in 2017.

Featuring music by Academy Award-winning composer A.R. Rahman, and acclaimed Bollywood composers, Salim & Sulaiman Merchant and Monty Sharma, Taj Express showcases a captivating fusion of classical Indian and contemporary dance in a celebration of the world’s most prolific film industry.

The Peacock
Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT

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1 thought on “Taj Express at The Peacock Theatre | Review”

  1. We had the opportunity to watch this show at Birmingham on 12th September. We are still mesmerised and enchanted. All the best to the show in the future.

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